A home is the most expensive purchase you will likely make in your lifetime. There is no such thing as the perfect home. There is only the perfect home for you. Some aspects of a home can be handled or even ignored without any drama. Other aspects of the home can make or break its ultimate value, and your ability to enjoy it long term.
The number of floors a house has might prove to be the most challenging aspect of a home. There is much that the young and healthy fail to consider when purchasing a multi-level home. Here are just a handful of those considerations:
People with mobility issues tend not to purchase multi-level houses. They avoid stairs the way mice avoid cats. But there are many ways people become mobility challenged. Almost all of them are by surprise.
One of the things that can make a multi-level home more valuable is to install some type of elevator or stair lift system. It is easy to figure out how to choose a stair lift. It is the why of it that gives people pause. Here are some of the best reasons to install a stair lift:
– It is less expensive than installing an elevator
– You may have guests that are mobility challenged
– You will add value to the home
– You will expand the addressable market when it is time to sell
You will need to contract an expert that understands factors like the dimensions and house designs, and the size and shape of your staircase. A stairlift system is not something you buy as a cookie-cutter DYI project. So be sure you are dealing with an experience professional.
A second floor requires some second thoughts. And one of those thoughts should be about how to accesses it if failing health becomes a factor.
Another consideration is what a second-floor occupant is to do in the event of a disaster. Fires are unforgiving. You always want to make sure you have more than one way out. Often, the greatest consideration a couple will make for their upstairs master suite is how to pick the right bed. This deserves to be high on the priority list. But even higher on that list should be how to escape that upstairs bedroom in the event of a fire.
There should be at least two exits on the ground floor, if not three. Every additional floor should have its own means of egress. Home safety should be the top priority, especially on the top story.
The Chicago Tribune sites resale value as a possible downside of going vertical. Consumer preferences have shifted in recent years, making ranch-style homes slightly more desirable than multi-level homes. There is no sign of that trend reversing.
There is also the matter of basic maintenance. Taking care of a multi-level home may be more time consuming and dangerous. Getting to the roof becomes a much more acrobatic affair. There is also the increased chance of accidents inside the home, especially if there are toddlers.
Disability, disasters, and other downsides are a few of the things to which second-story home purchasers should give a second thought. So if your dream home reaches skyward, be sure that an accident does not limit your access. Make sure there is a means of escape in an emergency. And factor in any economic downsides should you have to sell.